Surely if you are curious and you like to read the ingredients on the labeling of the products you buy, you will have seen that among them there is usually one called invert sugar. You will almost always find it in bakery and pastry products, but also in preparations with chocolate and even in beers that specify all their ingredients on the label.
Well, invert sugar is formed by a acid hydrolysis chemical reaction or enzyme inversion, where what happens is that sucrose (or common table sugar) is broken into the basic elements that compose it, glucose and fructose. So invert sugar is essentially a product that can be obtained unintentionally or caused by a desired chemical reaction.
Thus, for example, when we are preparing jellies or jams, the simple mixture of sugar with lemon acid, normally added to these homemade preparations, will already cause the investment of sugar without us noticing.
But there is also invert sugar naturally in many foods such as honey or maple syrup. So many times we will see it as a substitute for these, despite the fact that it does not contain any of the exceptional properties that at least honey has, but its use is widespread at an industrial level, as we will see that it gives food some characteristics specials.
Invert sugar is characterized by its high sweetening power, which would be up to 30% greater than that of common sugar or sucrose, that is why it is most used in confectionery and bakery products.
- In bakery, pastry and confectionery it has the power to increase the fermentation of the doughsSince yeast digests glucose and fructose separately better than sucrose as such.
It also increases moisture retention delaying drying, with the consequent increase in the duration of this type of food product and increasing its aging time. A greater sweet flavor is achieved without the addition of so much sugar, as well as it is used to give shine to the surface of the pastries.
- In ice cream parlor, its use is frequent because it has a powerful anti-crystallizing effect, lowering the freezing point of the mixture to prepare the ice cream, which makes it easier to shape and be much smoother.
This is an important fact, because now that summer is coming there are many people who like to prepare homemade ice creams, but who find that after they are frozen, it is impossible to make a ball with them because they are like a block of ice. By adding the invert sugar we will make our ice creams prepared at home, even without an ice cream maker, much more manageable.
The proportions to use would be the following, for bakery it is convenient to substitute fifty percent of the amount of sugar in the recipe for invert sugar. Twenty-five percent is recommended in ice cream parlors and approximately ten to twenty percent in our cakes.
How to prepare at home
Invert sugar can be bought ready-made, although it is not easy to find it usually in stores in small quantities. But the truth is that it is so easy to do it at home that it is not worth looking for. What we are going to need will be some sachets that are used as raising agents in confectionery and that they sell in large food stores or the classic “soda” envelopes that were formerly. Both are made up of two ingredients, a white envelope that contains an acid, in this case tartaric acid, and a purple one that contains a base, which would be sodium bicarbonate.
The proportions and method would be the following. To 350 g of sugar add the white envelope and pour 150 ml of mineral water. Bring to a boil while stirring, and when it boils, separate from the heat and let cool until it reaches a temperature of fifty degrees, at which point the purple envelope is added. We will see that a foam forms that disappears once the invert sugar cools. Put in an airtight container and protect it from light, so it will be preserved for several months and we will always have it ready to use in our homemade pastries and ice cream manufacture.
You will see that there is a before and after, especially in the texture of our homemade ice creams, after the use of invert sugar.
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